The Hon’ble High court of Bombay while quashing the FIRs registered against the Tablighi Jamaat observed that there was a “smell of malice” in the action taken against the followers. The court while examining the material on record held that no prima facie case was made out against the 35 petitioners before the court.
The Hon’ble also examined the role on media in the whole controversy and observed that “there was big propaganda in print media and electronic media against the foreigners who had come to Markaz Delhi and an attempt was made to create a picture that these foreigners were responsible for spreading COVID-19 virus in India” and that there was “virtual persecution” against them.
The Hon’ble Court also referred to the CAA – NRC protests and observed that “There were protests by taking processions, holding Dharana at many places in India from atleast from prior to January 2020. Most of the persons participated in protest were Muslims. It is their contention that Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 is discriminatory against the Muslims. They believe that Indian citizenship will not be granted to Muslim refugees and migrants. They were protesting against National Registration of Citizenship (NRC). There were protests on large scale not only in Delhi, but in the most of the States in India. It can be said that due to the present action taken fear was created in the minds of those Muslims. This action indirectly gave warning to Indian Muslims that action in any form and for anything can be taken against Muslims. It was indicated that even for keeping contact with Muslims of other countries, action will be taken against them. Thus, there is smell of malice to the action taken against these foreigners and Muslim for their alleged activities. The circumstances like malice is important consideration when relief is claimed of quashing of F.I.R. and the case itself”.
The Hon’ble court concluded that the state government acted under political compulsion and action against the Tabilighi Jamaat was not justified.